19 September 2019

Now, the digital world has made a great difference to healthcare too


The digital world is present in all areas of healthcare now. Most healthcare professionals know this and ensure they are present there. For, they certainly don’t want their patients not to avail of all the benefits it offers. There are certainly benefits but one does need to understand it completely so that all aspects are taken care of. For, this is a sacrosanct relationship that cannot be ruined due to wrong application of technology. On the other hand, the right application could and does offer a lot of benefits to all the stakeholders. So, it does help to spend time in seeing all aspects.

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The digital world is now very pertinent to all of us today. We are now experiencing a paradigm shift from thinking in terms of closed systems to thinking in terms of open networks. We live in a “networked” world that is characterized by networks both online and offline. Networks are non-hierarchical, inclusive, connected, complex, and open. They are constructed out of both humans and nonhumans. They are now a kind of blueprint for the way in which society is being organized. This includes healthcare that is part of all of us.

Healthcare is no longer something that is confidential and takes place in the intimacy and confines of the doctor-patient relationship. This is spread quietly maybe with a thread of privacy all over technical platforms.

Today, health care is distributed throughout a complex network of both human and nonhuman actors. The other new entrants are databases, hospital information systems, digital health records, electronic health cards, online patient communities, health related apps, smart homes with ambient assisted living technologies and so on. Networks operate most efficiently when they conform to certain norms. 

There are connectivity, flow of information, communication, participation, transparency, and authenticity. Here, authenticity is most important and relevant, both in the interest of the doctor and patient, for this is how one grows in knowledge and experience. While sitting at home, patients may even now what to do next because of the information that is passed on to them. These indeed is the new era that we all need to embrace and make optimum use of.

The new digital world guide the both the doctor and patient. This is due to the fact that they play a major role in the production and uses of health related information and knowledge. They condition how health related knowledge can create value both with regard to efficiency and quality of care.Today’s healthcare consumers are very different than the healthcare consumers of the past. They are usually more aware of the trends and diagnosis. As patients are often doing extensive research online, which means they are more particular about the services they receive. This has increased the need for an efficient healthcare digital marketing strategy. This needs to help medical practices and organizations find their customers via digital and social media to generate more business online. If earlier is was word of mouth, today the same world spreads rapidly through the internet. We cannot ignore this trend.

Now, about 47 percent of internet users are searching online for information on treatment options and about healthcare providers. This has been stated by Pew Research. It's time that healthcare providers take optimal measures to make use of the digital domain in the most optimum manner. For, the digital world has arrived and one cannot ignore it. If we do, we shall become irrelevant and obsolete.

Digital marketing for healthcare has increased the loyalty of current patients and educates prospective patients about their healthcare options. In all cases of business, it has  always been about connecting with your audience in the right place at the right time. And today, the right place is on the internet and the right time is right now.

For this, we definitely need to understand healthcare and its new avatar in the digital marketing trends.Let us consider the following statistics from PewResearchOne third of adults in the United States say they have gone online to research medical conditions. Of everyone in the country who uses the internet about 72 percent say they have looked online for health related information. These could be health issues or medical procedures,Nearly half of all internet users search for information about physicians online.Nearly forty percent of all internet users search for information about hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers.

These trends aren't likely to change anytime soon, so if you want to connect with people in the right place at the right time (which you do), you're going to want to be active in healthcare digital marketing. Till today, Twitter and Facebook are incredibly effective ways to connect with patients, both current and prospective. Other than this, social messaging apps such as Snapchat, Messenger and WhatsApp are emerging as effective tools for reaching out to one’s audience. Delivering the content in the format that our audience wants is also incredibly important. That might explain the explosion of videos and even podcasts as a digital marketing tool, especially in health care .  This is real fact. According to data gathered by Insivia  online video will account for nearly 75 percent of all online traffic this year, 55 percent of people watch videos online every day, and using the word "video" in an email subject line increases open rates by nearly 20 percent.

Podcasts are another area worth exploring:
Over a million (112) Americans listened to a podcast last year.Around three quarters (67) million people in the United States listen to podcasts monthlyPodcast listeners are growing in numbers. This again is likely only to increase as the number of people going digital are only increasing.

In Sum
We can indeed see the importance of the digital world everywhere. As health is a necessity for all of us, it is indeed relevant here too. We are certain it is here to stay and only increase with time.

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